5 health tips to remember in your 20s, suggested by an expert

5 health tips to remember in your 20s, suggested by an expert
Suruchi Patwary

Staying healthy in your 20s is strongly associated with a lower risk of heart disease in midlife; this is a fact that has been continually established by a large number of studies in recent years. Most people who adopt good habits in their 20s, such as maintaining a lean body mass index, moderate alcohol consumption, not smoking, a healthy diet, and regular physical activity, are likely to stay healthy well into their 50s.
Young woman working out

So, we spoke with Rohit Shelatkar, Vice President of Vitabiotics and fitness and nutrition expert to better understand the lifestyle one should follow in their 20s and the best advice he would suggest for all 20-year-olds. This is what he had to say:

The reality is that most young adults today are tied to their digital devices and spend long hours at work. In fact, according to a survey that studied 51,896 people in the US over 10 years, teens ages 12-19 spend 8.2 hours a day sitting and adults over 20 spend 6, 4 hours a day sitting. These numbers are concerning, as sitting for long hours has been associated with several health problems, and is what health experts call the "new smoking."

In addition to this sedentary lifestyle, young adults face several other pressures emanating from family, work, and society that drive them further to alienate their health. Therefore, young people must focus on their physical well-being. Below are the top five nutritional rules for 20-year-olds to follow.

1. Balanced Intake Of Protein

Protein Rich Foods

Whether it's chicken or paneer, protein is an essential building block for our bodies. Especially for young adults who are still growing and who often burn the candle at both ends. Protein is an essential fuel that helps the body gain strength and muscle mass.

2. Calcium-Rich Foods

Calcium-rich foods

One should think of the 20s as a time to "invest" in health; what you eat in your diet now can have a direct impact on the state of your health for decades to come. Calcium-rich foods help build strong bones and this will help keep you active for the next 60 years. Calcium-rich foods include sesame seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, broccoli, milk, and yogurt.

3. Hormone Balancing Foods

Blueberry yogurt jar

Due to the high levels of stress among most young people working hard to balance their nascent careers and personal lives, hormone levels can be negatively affected. This is especially true for young women who are at risk for PCOS and other menstrual disorders. To maintain a hormone-compatible diet, include foods like blueberries, yogurt, nuts, and oatmeal in your diet.

4. Iron

Iron-rich foods

Many women in their twenties face iron deficiency, especially if they have heavy bleeding during their menstrual cycles or if they are pregnant. Iron is an essential component for healthy red blood cells and without it, there is a risk of anemia and subsequent fatigue. Foods that are good for increasing iron levels in the body include dried beans, egg yolks, chicken liver, lean red meat, poultry, salmon, tuna, oysters, almonds, tofu, and whole grains.

5. Ample sleep, exercise, and stress reduction

Young woman sleeping

The importance of getting a good night's sleep is often underestimated. It's not uncommon for people in their 20s to think sleep is expendable and often go through the day without getting enough sleep. However, sleep helps combat stress and heal the body from physical and mental exhaustion. With the help of apps, it has become extremely easy to access various stress reduction and sleep amplification techniques.

In addition to all the above dietary changes, it is imperative to incorporate physical activities such as meditation, yoga, long walks, dancing, and cycling into your daily routine. Physical activity helps burn excess calories and lower adrenaline levels in the body. During your early 20s, your metabolism kicks into high gear, so eating a few extra treats and not exercising won't make a difference in your body right away. Unfortunately, as we age, our metabolism slows down and the only way to speed it up is through exercise. So it's important to start early and establish a pattern of good habits for when you really need them.

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